Telangana minister meets workers lodged in Dubai jail

Hyderabad: A cabinet minister from Telangana Monday visited a jail in Dubai, where some migrants from the state are serving prison sentence for illegal stay. Currently on a visit to Dubai, Information Technology minister K. T. Rama Rao visited Dubai Central Jail in Awair to know about the cases of the migrants lodged there.

The state government has been making effort to secure their release for the last two years. Five of them are likely to be released shortly, an official statement said here. The minister also learnt about the cases of some other detenues and assured them of help from the Indian consulate to get their matters attended to on a priority basis.

The minister's visit to Dubai jail came amid reports that several workers are languishing there and also in other jails in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, met migrant workers from Telangana, who constitute the second largest group of migrant workers after Kerala.

There are an estimated one lakh workers from Telangana in Dubai, the official release said. The minister visited Sonapur camp where about 20,000 workers from Telangana live. He saw their living facilities and interacted with them about their problems.

The workers face many problems, including exploitation by agents and by some of the employers. "They face very difficult living conditions. Non-payment of minimum wages is another common issue," the statement said.

The minister discussed the possibility of organising skills training for workers planning to work overseas, registration of workers, regulation of agents, preparing literature on rights for workers' awareness, deploying Telugu speaking staff in Indian Consulate, legal assistance, designing an insurance scheme for migrant workers and assistance in relocating willing workers back to Telangana by identifying suitable local jobs.

Rama Rao assured the workers that the government will soon bring out a detailed policy which will help the migrant workers overcome problems.

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